I have to start this post by saying that running a half marathon after *not* running for three weeks is not the smartest thing to do. I do not recommend it. But, I was registered for it and despite my lack of running prior, I was very excited about it.
Iron Girl is in Clearwater, very close to my home, and the course follows just about the same route I run on Sundays. It starts in Coachman Park, up over the Memorial Bridge and causeway to the beach, over the Sand Key Bridge, into Sand Key Park, then south on Gulf Blvd. for a bit before turning around and heading back again. Of course, this means that we have to run back over those same bridges to get to the finish line. It’s a bit of a challenge.
We lined up at the back of the start line and waited. I saw my friend Jessica fromTampa Mom Runs and we chatted for a minute. She was running with her adorable mom – how awesome is that?
Corinna and I started the race together before I took off over the first bridge. I knew that my run to walk ratio on this one would be very different, so I just went with it. I ran when I could and walked when I had to. I heard a women behind me at one point talking about how she met her time goal earlier this year and since then she’s been having fun. I realized that is exactly how I need to look at this race, my 10th half marathon. I had already PR’d twice this year with times I had never imagined, so I was going to have fun with this one and not worry about my time. Best decision ever.
I took a photo of Clearwater Beach as I ran by. It was a gorgeous day out, although a little warm. This is one of many reasons this is such a great course…
I made it over the Sand Key Bridge, also running it all the way over. Once I got into Sand Key Park, I knew I was going to have to make a pit stop at the bathroom. Rarely does this happen to me but my tummy was not happy and I was thankful there was a real bathroom in the park. When I came out of the bathroom, I just happened to see Corinna run by – perfect timing! I had been watching for her since I left her on Memorial Bridge but never spotted her. We would stick together the rest of the race and finish together.
From this point on, we did run / walk intervals. Corinna’s knee was bothering her and my foot was not happy with me. But we talked up a storm and that’s always fun too. When we finally headed back over the Memorial Bridge and made our way to the finish line, I think we were both ready to be done. I had fun but my foot was ready for me to stop.
I also wanted to mention that the Best Damn Race cheering squad was on the Memorial Bridge. Hubby joined them! It was nice to be cheered on in both directions on the bridge by the Best Damn cheering squad. Thanks to Jackie for letting me use this great photo she took…
As we approached the finish line, I saw Jessica again, as well as my friend Jackie who attends the same WW meeting that I do. She had run the 5K, so congrats to you Jackie! I was thankful for her because she took photos of us afterwards and it was fun to see her outside of our meeting. She’s been running and wants to build up to a half marathon. I know she can do it.
I ended up finishing a minute slower than last year and I am a-ok with that. There was a lot of walking, it was hot, and I was not prepared for this one. But, I had fun. I love this event and the course and can’t wait to do it again next year! The medal this year is so pretty and colorful. I love adding medals to my collection. And this one has my favorite bridge on it. Can’t beat that!
Rarely do I like the professional race photos. I’ve only bought a few when I first started racing. I tend to look like I am in pain or not happy when I’m running and that is far from the case. But this time, there are two that I absolutely love. The one of me waving at the finish line (to either Jessica or Jackie) is probably my most favorite finish line photo ever. This photo represent exactly how much I love to run. It just makes me happy!
It’s hard to believe I’ve completed 10 half marathons now. It seems so long ago that I did my very first one, but it was just in March of 2012. I’ve changed so much in these two years of racing. I decided to do a side-by-side photo of my first half and tenth half, and that change is evident. Besides the obvious difference in my weight, running all these half marathons (and other races) has brought about a self-confidence that I didn’t have before. Completing a half marathon is a big deal. Completing ten of them is an even bigger deal. I am so proud of myself.
So what is next? I am done with races for the spring and summer now. But I will continue to run and in July, I’ll start training for the Space Coast Marathon. The idea of running a full marathon is still very surreal to me, but I know the girl on the right in that photo can do it. Ten half marathons has proven this to me.
**Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to Iron Girl Clearwater – all opinions shared are my own.
How many half marathons have you run?
Sometimes, it seems like just yesterday I ran my very first half marathon. And all of a sudden, I am getting up at 3:20am on a Sunday to drive 60 miles to run my 9th half marathon. How did that happen? I’m always pretty competitive with myself and have some sort of goal in mind, usually with the hope of a PR. But after celebrating PRs at my last two half marathons in just the last 6 weeks alone, and then not running for the last two weeks, I knew this one was going to be for fun. I love the course and the views for this one. I also had the memory of this one being the first race last year where I finally broke 3 hours for a half marathon. After picking up my shirt and bib on Thursday, I was very excited to run this one again. I love the shirt and the colors!!
I arrived early enough to find a free parking spot not far from the start / finish line, which is located at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Center, right on the water. You can see the John Ringling Causeway in the distance. I am partial to races along the water, so I just love this.
I had plenty of time to walk around and take care of business before the start. Thankfully there were plenty of port-o-potties. I also ran in to my friend Caitlyn before. We joked that we were both tired and not really ready for 13.1 miles, but we were going to do it. Just before it started, I also ran into Meghan and Nadine, who were running the relay. The race started just after 7 and we were off. Once again, I decided to not listen to music and enjoy the surroundings. The course heads south on Tamiami Trail and then over the John Ringling Causeway. This might be my favorite part of the course. I love running bridges, however hard it may be, and I looked forward to running around St. Armand’s Circle. After St. Armand’s Circle, as I was approaching the causeway, I caught up to Caitlyn. It was shortly after that I took my first walk break. I always try to run at least 4 miles before I walk because I feel like once I take a walk break, I want to take more. I was very happy to catch up to Caitlyn and we ended up running for about 4 miles together. It was fun to chit chat with her and the time passed quickly. Around mile 8, I ran ahead. The course took us past the Ringling Museum of Art and through a beautiful neighborhood along the water. I took several more walk breaks during this time. The sun was high and bright in the sky and it had warmed up quickly. I also had Gatorade at each hydration station, in addition to the water I had with me. Between Mile 11 and 12, I had this amazing view and I stopped to take a picture of it. We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful area and I really don’t think I will ever get tired of such views.
Finally – FINALLY – I made it back out to Tamiami Trail. A very nice woman, who’s name I forgot (!!), was along side me as I was taking a quick walk break. She said we should run it in together. We did just that, talking for a little bit, and then when I turned around to thank her after we crossed the finish, she was gone. Runners are so friendly, I always enjoy that. I was ready – and happy – to be done. My time was far from my last half marathon 2 weeks ago, but it was still better than this same event last year. Regardless, I was very happy with how I did and my time. We can’t PR every time, and I enjoyed running with Caitlyn for several miles on this one.
After calling hubby to let him know how I did, I caught up with my fellow Best Damn Race Ambassadors so we could all go to breakfast.
Beth, Meghan, Katie, Me, Haley, and Nadine
Katie, Me, Nick, Haley, Meghan, and Nadine
We also took a Tampa Bay Bloggers photo since so many of us ran the race. Clearly, we love photos. I think we’re a fabulous bunch.
Beth, Meghan, Me, Caitlyn, Haley, Chrissy, Denise, Brad
Me and Caitlyn
I am very happy with how I ran and finished this race. It’s a great event, I love the shirt and medal, and the camaraderie is priceless. And here are my official results…
What is your favorite thing about running races and the running community?
**Disclaimer: As part of the Tampa Bay Bloggers network, I received a complimentary entry to the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon and Relay in exchange for my honest review. The opinions shared are my own
It’s been a whirlwind of races the past month. Between Best Damn Race Safety Harbor, then Gasparilla Distance Classic, and then Best Damn Race Orlando, I’ve been a busy little runner. The past week and a half though, since Best Damn Race Orlando, I have not been running at all. My back has been telling me to take it easy, and I have been. But I am itching to run. And even more so, I am so excited to run the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon & Relay this Sunday!
Last year I ran the Sarasota Half Marathon on a whim, after seeing the amazing dolphin medal. Besides loving medals, I love dolphins and when I saw the medal that was up for grabs, I knew I had to make it mine. I knew the race had a BIG bridge but I didn’t care. I was training for Iron Girl and figured if anything, it would be a great training run.
What it turned out to be, was the first half marathon I finished under 3 hours. I was a sweating, crying mess when I cross the finish line in 2:48:12, so darn proud of myself. It will always be a favorite running memory of mine.
I knew I had to do it again this year. It’s a beautiful course and there is another great medal with a bridge and dolphins. How could I pass this up?
I also know many runners who will be running this. That’s another thing that makes these events so fun…. Seeing your running / blogging friends who enjoy the events as much as you do!
This will be half marathon #9 for me. I’ve PR’d the last three that I’ve run. I am going to run this one for fun and enjoy the course and see what happens….
Will I see you out there? Let me know if you’re running!
Wow, last week went fast… It was also a lesson in flexibility. I really like sticking to a plan, but I have to remember to be flexible when life happens. It’s better to get a workout done later than not at all. That being said, I was short two workouts for Week 2.
I started out the week not feeling well so I did not workout on Monday. But, Tuesday morning I was feeling better, headache-free, and back at it. I just shifted my workouts back a day. On Wednesday, I worked out in the morning and the afternoon, an unplanned double day. It felt great to get caught back up from missing Monday. On Thursday, hubby and I went out to dinner so I missed my workout. On Friday, I opted to workout in the afternoon, getting home from work early enough to run 2 miles and do a double. This put me within one workout away from being caught up, which I planned to do over the weekend.
On Saturday, I spent much of the late morning and afternoon with hubby at the Spartan Race in Tampa. It was really fun to play spectator and be there to support him. This also meant no workout for me after going out to eat on the way home from the event.
My Sunday turned into an unplanned rest day as well. I woke up exhausted and decided with races on the schedule for the next two weekends, yesterday would be my chance to sleep in and be lazy. I’m not going to lie, it was really nice, but I did feel slightly guilty. I did, however, go grocery shopping and do food prep for the week.
So, I missed one workout and the stretch for Week 2. Still, I am very pleased with how with T25 I did given how my week went. Speed 1.0 is still my favorite. On the more challenging workouts, such as Total Body Circuit, I am still doing many of the modifications. No shame. Modifying is better than not moving! My one regret is that I only got one run in all week long…
As for my Shakeology, I absolutely love it. Especially after my morning workouts, it hits the spot and it super filling. I have a new favorite recipe now… You will want to try this:
- Chocolate Shakeology
- 8 oz. unsweetened almond milk
- 1 banana
- 1 tbsp. peanut butter
Just blend it all to perfection and enjoy. It’s like a milkshake!
On to Week 3! I hope this week stays on track a little better, but I know regardless I will roll with it and do my best!
I am enjoying T25 so much, that I have decided to put together my first Challenge Group for March. If you are interested, please comment below or email me at crazylifeofmineblog at gmail dot com. If you would like to be a part of a group of 5 – 6 people interested in fitness, motivation, and support, than I would love to have you as a part of this!
What a great first week of T25! I thought it would be beneficial to do a weekly wrap-up of my workouts in hopes of seeing improvements and changes on a weekly basis. Next week, hopefully, I won’t be two days late in sharing the week I just finished.
The idea behind Focus T25 is pretty simple. You work out 5 days a week. It’s 25 minutes a day, except on Friday, which is a double so it’s 50 minutes. Saturday is a rest day (love those!) and Sunday is stretch day. Easy as pie, right?
As I mentioned in my post about this challenge I’m doing, I needed a workout that would not take away from my running. That just cannot happen. This 25 minutes a day is just right… Here’s how my first week went:
Run 1 mile - Plank
Total Body Circuit
Run 3.11 miles – Plank
Friday (double day)
Run 9 miles / Plank
My thoughts on the workouts completed this week…. For the most part, I completed each one, with modifiers. That is the wonderful thing about this series. There is a modifier for each workout that shows a low intensity option for most of the exercises. For those of us who maybe can’t move at such high intensity or can’t reach as far, and more… Do not be afraid of the modifications. You are still moving and burning calories. However, I hope to be able to say I “nailed it” soon!
My favorite workout this week was Speed 1.0. I love this workout. It’s a challenge, but it’s doable. I also believe it will benefit my running more that anything.
My least favorite workout of the week was Total Body Circuit. It’s hard, plain and simple. My quads and shoulders were both on fire. Again, no shame in doing modifications and doing what I can just to keep moving.
The double workout on Friday was also a challenge. I stressed over this a little. Do I do them back to back? One in the morning and one at night? The answer was made for me when I found out I would be spending the afternoon with my most fabulous niece and I knew I needed to do both workouts Friday morning just to get them done. And I’m glad I did. Yes, it was a challenge and I was like jello afterwards. But, I did it and that’s what matters.
I was happy with the 3 runs I got in for the week as well, especially just coming off a half marathon. I am kind of in shock still that I ran 9 miles Sunday morning so soon after a half and working out hard all week. I certainly felt it, but it wasn’t so bad I had to stop.
I also enjoyed a Shakeology every morning for breakfast. Yum!! Some mornings I just mixed it with water and ice, other mornings I made a blended smoothie with fruit and unsweetened almond milk and fruit… All in all, week 1 of the T25 Challenge was a success! I hope that week 2 is the same!
Exciting news! I am now an Independent Beachbody Coach! If I can answer any questions you may have regarding Shakeology, Focus T25, 21 Day Fix, and other Beachbody products, please do not hesitate to let me know! You can find out more at my Beachbody website!